By Chris Douglas;
So how do we know that the winter is setting in ? Well apart from the lack of sun and the nights getting longer it is the arrival of the Whiting, these are the start of the winter season for most anglers. The summer is slow with very few fish being landed and most Anglers tend to hang up their rods and just go on the odd boat trip, but the arrival of the Whiting and the colder weather gets us all out again and the beaches that are forgotten in the Summer become as busy as ever with Anglers after the first Whiting of the year.
The run of the Whiting will vary across the UK but the Wirral and North Wales get the first show around October (Although while putting this together the report pages are full of Whiting being caught!!) and they are normally small in size and number, during October as the sea temp starts to fall bigger fish and larger shoals will move inshore and will stay with us until late December and as late as January with some bigger fish staying on until February. November and December will give the biggest bags and fish, but these will hinder you as you try to target the Cod that will also be within casting range.
The best Venue's to target are those that have clean sandy beach's with little or no snags such as Perch Rock, Harrison Drive and the like. Whiting like the calmer weather and the flat sea's with little or no wind to cause a surf, as the winter progress's and the bigger fish come close inshore then this plays little difference to the catch as they come within 20yds of the beach in the hunt for food.
Whiting feed on the "fin" if you like and are unlike the Cod that will search out it's food, so you will need to target the gullies and the likes to get in among them, on the Flood of the tide you may only need to cast as little as 15 - 20 yds while on the Ebb you will need to get out as far as 80 yds. As they need to feed on the "Fin" if the tide has a fast run then give a hook snood length of up to 15 inches were as if the tide is flat calm try a shorter length of about 9 inches. 2 or 3 hook paternoster's are the favored rigs although I only ever use 2 hooks, getting 3 Whiting of the line will take its time as they tend to swallow the hooks right down.
Whiting will feed on anything !! Lug Worm tipped with Mackerel is the favored approach, you don't need to load the bait up the snood as you do when targeting Cod just one worm tipped off will bring you results a size 2/0 hook is all you need when going after the Whiting any smaller and you will have trouble getting it out of the fish.
NOW GET OUT THERE AND GET CATCHING !!!!!!!
REMEMBER ONLY KILL WHAT YOU INTEND TO EAT !!
Chris Douglas - October, 2001